There are few more quintessentially English sights than that of Worcester Cathedral, its towers overlooking the green expanse of the county cricket ground, and its majestic image reflected in the swift-flowing waters of the River Severn. A cathedral has stood on this site since 680, and much of what remains dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. Notable exceptions are the Norman crypt (built in the 1080s), the largest in England, and the ambulatory, a cloister built around
the east end. The most important tomb in the cathedral is that of King John (1167–1216), one of the country's least-admired monarchs, who alienated his barons and subjects through bad administration and heavy taxation and in 1215 was forced to sign that great charter of liberty, the Magna Carta. Don't miss the beautiful decoration in the vaulted chantry chapel of Prince Arthur, Henry VII's elder son, whose body was brought to Worcester after his death at Ludlow in 1502. The medieval library (accessible by pre-booked tour only) holds around 300 medieval manuscripts, dating from the 10th century onwards. Worcester is 7 miles north of Great Malvern.
College Yard, at High St., Worcester, WR1 2LA, England
01905-732900; 01905-732922-library tour bookings